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It’s a simple idea: When there are fewer drugs in medicine cabinets, people are less likely to abuse them.

That’s the thought behind prescription drug disposal tactics such as disposal boxes (click here for a list of locations in East Texas where you can dispose of your leftover prescription drugs, no questions asked) and prescription drug disposal pouches being distributed in communities in our 3 coalitions 13-county coverage area.

East Texas Substance Abuse Coalition
The East Texas Substance Abuse Coalition covers Smith, Rusk, Cherokee, Henderson, and Van Zandt counties.

Piney Woods Substance Abuse Coalition
The Piney Woods Substance Abuse Coalition covers Gregg, Harrison, and Marion counties.

Northeast Texas Coalition Against Substance Abuse
The Northeast Texas Coalition Against Substance Abuse covers Franklin, Titus, Morris, Cass and Bowie counties.

The prescription drug pouches were awarded to the coalitions from the Texas Targeted Opioid Response grant. The opioid crisis has been in the news a ton lately, and for good reason. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 115 people die every day from opioid overdose.

There is a massive amount of these drugs out in the community, making them readily available for would-be abusers. More opioids are prescribed in East Texas than the average rate for the state, and the rate of calls to poison control for opioid exposures is higher in East Texas than the rest of the state, according to the Regional Needs Assessment by the Longview-based Prevention Resource Center.

In 2015, doctors prescribed “enough painkillers in the U.S. to keep every American doped up around the clock for three weeks straight,” according to NY Daily News.

Our coalitions are encouraging residents to dispose of these drugs once they are no longer needed. Enter: the disposal pouch.

There are a few options on the market, but the pouch the coalition is distributing are very easy to use. Simply drop the drugs into the pouch, fill it up halfway with warm water, reseal it and throw it in the trash. The charcoal inside the pouch makes the drugs inert and the pouches are landfill safe. This is a much safer, more effective option than simply throwing drugs directly into the trash or flushing them down the toilet.

Whether you use a prescription drug drop box or a disposal pouch, you are doing a service to your community when you dispose of your prescription drugs properly.

If you are a Brookshire’s pharmacy patient, specific Brookshire’s pharmacies are giving out these pouches. Click here for that list. And if you are a Walmart patient, any Walmart pharmacist will happily provide you with their own disposal pouch.